Updated on 4/8/2021. Written by Alan Lu.
Projected Draft Range: Likely Undrafted
Decent scorer off the dribble
Shot the ball well in high school
Tremendous free throw generator
Very good free throw shooter
Adequate rebounder for his size
Fairly good defender that can get steals
Hasn’t shot the ball well at all in college basketball
Lacks an elite first step off the dribble
Needs to improve his playmaking skills
Can be too passive on offense
His effort on defense can lag at times
Not a true point guard, but is undersized to play the two
Underperformed in limited minutes as a freshman
Nimari Burnett was a highly touted recruit coming into college, and he was a high school teammate of Jalen Green at Prolific Prep. In high school, he looked to be a prolific scorer that had a strong, pull-up game, and he showed the ability to finish plays above the rim. He also appeared to be a fairly solid defender that also could rack up steals. With the skills he showed coming out of high school, it was previously thought that he would be a prospect worth keeping tabs on this year, especially since he showed the potential to excel as a shooter and defender at higher levels.
However, he struggled considerably in a surprisingly reduced role at Texas Tech before transferring. Burnett really struggled to score, and concerns about his ability to run the point only magnified from there, as he committed more turnovers than collected assists. The jump shot he showed in high school has not shown up at all to the collegiate level yet, but that could be due to his struggles to adjust to a bench role. Another possible reason for his struggles is the jump up to the level of competition that he faced this season.
He will need to go to a team where he will get plenty of playing time. Right now, he would most likely go undrafted if he were to declare to enter the NBA draft, but if he can harness his talents into being a more productive player, he could project to be a microwave type of scorer at the NBA level if things break his way.
1/3/20 Prolific Prep vs. Word of God Academy
This scouting report was first created on August 10th, and was previously not updated, so it was in serious need of updating to adjust to what he had been doing at the collegiate level at Texas Tech. By pretty much all accounts, Burnett had vastly underperformed, and he was also behind more experienced guards such as Jamarius Burton, Kyler Edwards, and Mac McClung on the depth charts, so his decision to transfer away from the program was not surprising in the least. Therefore, this scouting report has been updated as of 1/22/2021.
If you use any portion of this material, please credit NBA Scouting Live.